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Week 20| 2019: Insider Scoop on Field Trips & Chaperoning

When having babies, I dreamed about the days they would be in school and I could go along on field trips and school trips with them. Can you relate or are you the parent standing back thinking I’ll take a hard pass on that? I have to say that I have generally always been quick to volunteer for the trips & overnights. Sure there have been times that work or other commitments have gotten in the way but generally I try to make it. On a few occasions when I haven’t been able to, I have had the privilege of my father driving the bus so he has been able to participate and be there for the kids.

This week our daughter and I are heading to Washington D.C. for her 8th grade class trip. While she is nearly packed and ready to go, I'm still in the process of over packing 😂 I mean you've got to be prepared... You never know what can happen with kids, right?! So like plan for the worst and hope that all works just as it should.

I have to say that the teachers at our school are amazing when it comes to planning/organizing school outings – whether it is a day away or a few days away. I always feel well informed of the expectations/itinerary in advance so there is no question as to what is going on/expected. Generally we are also informed of the children we are responsible for, as well as given emergency contact information should it be needed.

The next course of business {on my mind} is always motion sickness preparedness. Our kids are prone to motion sickness so long bus trips often require Dramamine. It's important, however, to be prepared for the worst… that means packing other motion sickness essentials:

· Bottled water

· Plastic bags {Wegmans bags, as well as large Ziploc bags for vomit- YUCK! But at

least it can be contained!}

· Paper towels

· Antibacterial toilettes

· Hand sanitizer

You never know when illness may strike and there is nothing worse than being stuck on a bus unprepared or having to smell the after effects of a child who has been sick.

Other essentials - I also always carry a small first aid kit that has band aids, first aid cream, etc. for minor emergencies. It never fails there is a need for a band aid!

Then there are the overnight trips - I'm forever grateful that I don't have to do the planning when it comes to those trips. The best part… being handed an itinerary and a packing list – the only way it could get any better is if someone came and packed for you. I mean, really?!

Let's not forget all the things for the overnights though…

· Clothing

· Pajamas

· Comfortable walking shoes

· Rain jacket/umbrella for inclement weather

· Toiletries

· Medications

· Snacks/Drinks for the trip

· Your cell phone/charger

· Book for the bus trip

· Headphones to listen to your music/movies

· Comfortable backpack for walking around

· Money for meals & souvenirs

New to the chaperoning scene? Don’t be afraid to ask questions prior to the field trip about what’s expected of you. Be prepared. Make sure that as a chaperone you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion/field trip. Remember that you're in the presence of other people's children and speak appropriately. Most of all... have fun making memories with your child.

For those parents that do not like going along on the field trips – that’s certainly ok. There is no right or wrong when it comes to field trips and parenting. However, make the lives of those parents going along easier by addressing your own child(ren) about their behavior/manners for the trip. Also, be sure that they are prepared for the trip with the proper attire; food; and essentials. Remind them that they are representing their school when they are out in public as a group and it's important to leave a good impression on those they encounter.

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